Snarky Lawyer

When Is It “Unfair Prejudice” for a Prosecutor to Bring Up Additional Allegations in a Domestic Violence Case?

August 12th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

An issue that often comes up in the trial of domestic violence cases is the admission of evidence regarding “extraneous offenses.” That is to say, if you are accused of assaulting a family member, can the prosecution introduce allegations of similar prior acts as evidence against you? The short answer is that such evidence is […]

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Failing to Report Property Damage in a Car Accident Can Lead to Jail Time

August 10th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Traffic Offenses

When you are involved in a minor traffic accident with another car, you should always get out and exchange information with the other driver. The same applies if you are involved in an accident that damages a fixture or structure while driving–you should always notify the property owner there has been an accident. Indeed, failure […]

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What Is Considered “Entrapment” When It Comes to a Drug Crime?

August 5th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

Police officers often rely on undercover work and confidential informants to help gather evidence of potential drug crimes. In some cases, however, these actions may cross the line from a legitimate investigation into what is known as “entrapment.” As defined by the Texas Penal Code, entrapment refers to a situation where a defendant engaged in […]

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What Is the Difference Between Robbery and Aggravated Robbery in Texas?

August 3rd, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

Many crimes in Texas have what are known as “lesser-included offenses.” This means that based on the available evidence, a jury could find the defendant guilty of a lower-degree of crime than the one charged by the state. For example, the crime of “robbery” is considered a lesser-included offense to “aggravated robbery” under the Texas […]

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Houston U.S. Attorney Charges DHS Employee with Wire Fraud, Identity Theft

July 31st, 2020 by Tad Nelson in White Collar Crime

Identity theft is one of the most commonly prosecuted white collar crimes in Texas. If you intentionally use someone else’s name, Social Security number, or other personal identifying information (PII) to obtain money, credit, or anything else of value, you can face serious federal criminal charges. And prosecutors will not hesitate to charge a potential […]

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Is an Accuser’s Testimony Enough to Send a Person Charged with a Sex Crime to Prison for Life?

July 27th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

Sex crimes involving child victims often draw the harshest penalties under Texas law. For example, the offense of continuous sexual abuse of young child or children is a first-degree felony. This means that if convicted, a defendant faces a potential life sentence–or at a minimum, at least 25 years in prison. Houston Court Upholds 50-Year […]

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What Is Considered a “Speedy Trial” When It Comes to a Misdemeanor Offense?

July 24th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes

The Constitution guarantees every criminal defendant’s right to a “speedy” trial. This right applies to both felony and misdemeanor offenses. But what is considered “speedy” from a legal standpoint? If you are forced to wait more than a year for trial, is that a violation of your rights? And will a judge automatically dismiss the […]

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Appeals Court Refuses to Reverse DWI Conviction of Austin Man Who “Unequivocally” Decided to Represent Himself

July 17th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in DWI

A DWI charge is not a parking ticket. It is not something that you should try to contest yourself without the assistance of experienced counsel. While you do have a constitutional right to represent yourself in any criminal matter, that does not make it a good idea, especially since the potential penalties can be quite […]

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Can My Ex Testify About “Prior Bad Acts” in a Criminal Domestic Violence Trial?

July 16th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

As a general rule, prosecutors are not allowed to introduce “character evidence” against a defendant at trial. In other words, if you are accused of a particular crime, the prosecution cannot tell the jury about other offenses you may have committed in the past to show you have a “bad character.” Such “extraneous offenses” are […]

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What Is the Penalty for Speeding in an Active Construction Zone in Texas?

July 13th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Traffic Offenses

While it is always important to obey the posted speed limits on Houston-area roads, you need to be especially careful when driving in and around active construction zones. Under state law, the minimum and maximum fines for speeding in a “construction or maintenance work zone” are double the normal amounts if there are “workers present” […]

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